What is the ADX Indicator? How to use the Average Directional Movement Index Guide


The trend is losing momentum but the uptrend remains intact. Anderson is CPA, doctor of accounting, and an accounting and finance professor who has been working in the accounting and finance industries for more than 20 years. Her expertise covers a wide range of accounting, corporate finance, taxes, lending, and personal finance areas. Divide the 14-day smoothed Minus Directional Movement (-DM) by the 14-day smoothed True Range to find the 14-day Minus Directional Indicator (-DI14).

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An RSI reading of above 70 implies overbought conditions, whereas a reading of below 30 implies oversold conditions. A buy order in a ranging market will be when the price is drifting lower, with an ADX reading of below 25, and when the RSI is showing oversold conditions. Similarly, a sell order can be placed when the price is edging higher, with an ADX reading of below 25 and when the RSI is showing overbought conditions. The next value is calculated by taking the previous smoothed value and subtract the average from it.

Reading the ADX Indicator

For example, chartists can focus on +DI buy signals when the bigger trend is up and -DI sell signals when the bigger trend is down. Before looking at some signals with examples, keep in mind that Wilder was a commodity and currency trader. The examples in his books are based on these instruments, not stocks. This does not mean his indicators cannot be used with stocks, however. Some stocks have price characteristics similar to commodities, which tend to be more volatile with short and strong trends.


The other condition will be that the 5-period RSI is below 20, which signals that the market has become oversold, and is due for a short term pullback. When traders use ADX, they tend to have some quite specific levels in mind, which they believe signal different things about the market. The calculation of ADX begins with determining the plus and minus directional movement, which is also called DM. What’s fascinating about the book is that they were written before the computer age, where many calculations still were made by hand. Still, the book outlines detailed instructions on how the ADX is calculated, which would take a substantial amount of time to be performed by hand. ADX doesn’t show the direction of the trend, but only the trend strength.

The computations for the various EMAs are complex and numerous. Once they are found, however, they can be used to compute the directional movement, or DM, for whatever time interval is selected. The returned value of DM can be positive (+DM), negative (-DM), or zero. Knowing when trend momentum is increasing gives the trader confidence to let profits run instead of exiting before the trend has ended. However, a series of lower ADX peaks is a warning to watch price and manage risk. The best trading decisions are made on objective signals, not emotion.

RSI Burst – #42

Any ADX peak above 25 is considered strong, even if it is a lower peak. In an uptrend, price can still rise on decreasing ADX momentum because overhead supply is eaten up as the trend progresses . A common misperception is that a falling ADX line means the trend is reversing. A falling ADX line only means that the trend strength is weakening, but it usually does not mean the trend is reversing, unless there has been a price climax. As long as ADX is above 25, it is best to think of a falling ADX line as simply less strong . The indicator is usually plotted in the same window as the two directional movement indicator lines, from which ADX is derived .

If DI- is above DI+, an ADX reading of 25 or higher indicates a strong downtrend. The Plus Direction Indicator (DI+) and Minus Direction Indicator (DI-) show the current price direction. When the DI+ is above DI-, the current price momentum is up. When the DI- is above DI+, the current price momentum is down.

  • These are often expressed in an equation as EMAUP, EMADOWN and EMATR.
  • To demonstrate this, I’ve applied three ADX indicators to a chart.
  • In that respect, we find the actual range of the price action between the days.
  • In general, divergence is not a signal for a reversal, but rather a warning that trend momentum is changing.

Breakouts happen when there is sudden momentum of an asset’s price, which is normally due to increased supply and demand. The Ary Aind Indicator is a momentum based indicator that can be used to measure the strength of a trend. It is a very popular indicator among forex traders and is often used as a confirmation.

But why would you want to find the intensity of a trend? If you trade in a weaker trend then there is a high probability of reversal compared to a stronger trend. So combining your directional trades with a stronger trend will help you achieve higher hit ratio and higher average profitability per trade.

The Average Directional Index (ADX) Formulae

The https://traderoom.info/ directional index is used to determine when the price is trending strongly. After all, the trend may be your friend, but it sure helps to know who your friends are. In this article, we’ll examine the value of ADX as a trend strength indicator. ADX indicator values of below 25 show that the underlying market is not trending. This is basically a market that requires range-bound plays. As an oscillator,RSIdelivers overbought and oversold trading signals.

In order to determine these price trends, traders look to use trend strength indicators, such as the ADX indicator. This technical analysis tool was developed in 1978 by Welles Wilder as a trend strength indicator for the commodities market, although it can be applied to all financial markets. In particular, it is effective when used in collaboration with momentum trading strategies, within the share market and forex trading. This is because strong trends are generally more prominent within highly liquid markets, so the trader is able to ride the price trend smoothly until it ends. The ADX indicator is one of the most popular and effective trend indicators, especially when used alongside other similar tools.

technical analysts

ADX value below 30 is interpreted as weak trend, while ADX value above 30 is interpreted as strong trend. The direction of the trend is calculated based on +DI and -DI values. Forex indicators actually take into account the price and volume of a particular trading instrument for further market forecasting. ADX calculations are based on a moving average of price range expansion over a given period of time.

Smooth the 14-period averages of +DM, -DM, and TR—the TR formula is below. Insert the -DM and +DM values to calculate the smoothed averages of those. It is a quite popular strategy that has been in trading since long time ago, but still many tradersADX Trend Indicator do not know how to trade with it or use it efficiently. A free demo account to give traders the opportunity to try out different ADX strategies without putting any money on the line. As the name suggests, the Positive Directional Indicator is used to help us gauge the uptrend of the market.

Understanding the Endowment Effect in Trading

When it’s sloping upwards, it’s a sign that the uptrend is getting stronger. Any average directional index reading above 25 is interpreted as indicating the existence of a genuine trend. Readings between 25 and 50 indicate a beginning or moderate strength trend.

One of these methods is discussed by Alexander Elder in his book Trading for a Living. One of the best buy signals is when ADX turns up when below both Directional Lines and +DI is above -DI. If DI+ is above DI-, an ADX reading of 25 or higher indicates a strong uptrend.

period adx

The ADX identifies a strong trend when the ADX is over 25 and a weak trend when the ADX is below 20. Crossovers of the -DI and +DI lines can be used to generate trade signals. For example, if the +DI line crosses above the -DI line and the ADX is above 20, or ideally above 25, then that is a potential signal to buy. On the other hand, if the -DI crosses above the +DI, and the ADX is above 20 or 25, then that is an opportunity to enter a potential short trade. When the ADX reading falls below 25 and stays there for an extended period, it means that the market is trendless or basically ranging. Ranging markets are characterised by the price bouncing off recognisable support and resistance areas.

And as is often the case in mean reversion, sudden and prolonged moves in one direction tend to result in a market reversal. The average directional index is, like momentum indicators such as the MACD or RSI, typically shown in a separate window above or below the main chart window that shows price. The ADX is shown as a line representing values that range from zero to 100. As well as on our own trading platform, we host the internationally recognised trading platform, MetaTrader 4, which comes with all standard features of an MT4 account. This includes the ADX indicator for momentum and trend trading strategies.

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This -DI14 is the red Minus Directional Indicator line (-DI) that is plotted along with the ADX line. Divide the 14-day smoothed Plus Directional Movement (+DM) by the 14-day smoothed True Range to find the 14-day Plus Directional Indicator (+DI14). This +DI14 is the green Plus Directional Indicator line (+DI) that is plotted along with the ADX line. Smooth these periodic values using Wilder’s smoothing techniques. Directional movement is negative when the prior low minus the current low is greater than the current high minus the prior high.

There are many trading strategies that use the ADX, either as the main entry trigger, or just as a filter. This is also why you need to adjust the threshold values as you adjust the ADX length. For instance, a 5-period ADX will reach high readings much more frequently than a 20-period ADX. The first appearance of the ADX indicator was in Wilder’s book “New Concepts In Technical Trading Systems”, released in 1978. In the same book, Wilder presented a couple of other trading indicators that still remain relevant to this day.

Go ahead and smooth your adx indicator formula averages of +DM, -DM, and TR. Then, insert the -DM and +DM values to calculate the smoothed averages of those. The Positive Directional Indicator (+DI) is one of the lines in the Average Directional Index indicator and is used to measure the presence of an uptrend. The directional movement index is +DI minus -DI, divided by the sum of +DI and -DI .

How to use ADX indicator Formula for Day Trading

In essence, this means that you’re trying to pick times when the direction of the momentum shifts, in hopes of riding the new trend. However, keep in mind that different strategies may react very differently to high or low ADX readings. With high ADX-readings, some may react as described above, while others instead will benefit immensely. Now, we’re not saying that this isn’t the case, because it will be, in some cases. However, on the contrary, it may be that a high ADX reading instead signals that a market is depleted of its strength, and soon will move in the opposite direction. The approach that’s probably the most common, is to use ADX as a tool to know when a trend is worth riding along.

ADX clearly indicates when the trend is gaining or losing momentum. A series of higher ADX peaks means trend momentum is increasing. A series of lower ADX peaks means trend momentum is decreasing.

Wait for this low to be penetrated before abandoning the signal. This bullish signal is reinforced if/when ADX turns up and the trend strengthens. Once the trend develops and becomes profitable, traders will have to incorporate a stop-loss and trailing stop should the trend continue. The high on the day of the sell signal becomes the initial stop-loss. The ADX itself is then calculated as the sum of the differences between +DMI and –DMI over a given time period.

The indicator can be used to trade both trending and range-bound markets. Has this strategy been back tested, if yes then could you please publish results. Request you to please share “Supertrend scanner” based on EOD on excel sheet so that we can see active buying in filtered stock list and select stocks for further trading. Directional movement is positive when the current high minus the previous high is greater than the previous low minus the current low. This so-called Plus Directional Movement (+DM) then equals the current high minus the prior high, provided it is positive. Directional movement is negative when the previous low minus the current low is greater than the current high minus the previous high.

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This system attempts to measure the strength of price movement in positive and negative direction using the DMI+ and DMI- indicators along with the ADX. ADX values help traders identify the strongest and most profitable trends to trade. The values are also important for distinguishing between trending and non-trending conditions. Many traders will use ADX readings above 25 to suggest that the trend is strong enough for trend-trading strategies. Conversely, when ADX is below 25, many will avoid trend-trading strategies. Trading in the direction of a strong trend reduces risk and increases profit potential.